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Dependent’s benefits/survivor benefits and workers comp

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Workers compensation benefits

The basic reasoning behind the creation of Workers Compensation Insurance is to provide an employee with certain benefits when they sustain an on-the-job injury. These benefits primarily include compensation for lost wages and medical care. Additional benefits can be paid if you return to work in a limited capacity and have to pursue a lower paying position. Depending on the nature of your on-the-job injury, you will be paid one of the following:

TTD or Temporary Total Disability; TPD or Temporary Partial Disability; PPD or Permanent Partial Disability

Additionally, benefits are paid based on what are known as "catastrophic" injuries which include:

Amputations; Blindness; Severe burns; Severe cranial injuries; Severe paralysis

But what happens if you die as a result of your on-the-job injury? Here we will focus on other survivor's benefits that are paid as a result of an on-the-job injury resulting in death.

Workplace wrongful death

According to statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2006, there were over 5,700 deaths in the workplace as a result of on-the-job accidents. Nearly 200 of these individuals were here in the state of Georgia. Although the survivors of the deceased employees are not allowed by law to sue the employer for the death of their family member, they can receive workers compensation death benefits.

Survivor's benefits for dependents of the deceased

We are oftentimes approached regarding the possibility of receiving workers compensation benefits when the employee dies because of an accident on the job. There are a few benefits that survivors are entitled to including:

up to $7,500 in burial expenses; 2/3 of the employee's average weekly wage with a maximum of $500

A widowed spouse who has no dependent children will not be paid more than $150,000 in weekly survivor's benefits. These benefits will continue being paid until the maximum is reached or the surviving spouse openly cohabits with someone of the opposite gender or remarries. Additionally, if the deceased person has dependent children, they are entitled to survivor's benefits until they reach 18 years of age.

We are experienced workers compensation attorneys and can help you if you have recently lost your spouse due to an accident that occurred while they were on the job. Please feel free to contact us for further information on this subject or to answer any of your questions.

Jodi Ginsberg is a practicing workers' compensation attorney in Atlanta, GA. She has been practicing law for over 20 years, and her website can be found at http://www.atlantaworkerscompensation.net 

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